The Phoenix Nest
this site the web

Updates (11/12/09) and a mini-review

Hey guys,

So, some updates eh. Um... Oh! I played and finished Ballad of Gay Tony recently. Fun stuff. Impressions:

Overall it's a great expansion. Better than TLAD? Yes. But not by much. Luis isn't a much better character than Johnny, and neither of them are as good as Niko. The story itself isn't so good... It's basically "Tony screws shit up, you go fix it." Seriously... that's how the last mission could be described. But the missions are stand outs. Pretty much every mission includes a shoot out or something else that is fun. None of this riding in formation until you get somewhere and then doing nothing. It's good too see more of Bulgarin in Gay Tony too... in the main story of GTA IV I had more or less forgotten about him. When he showed up to try to get the diamonds back I was like "Who is this dude again?". But he's a bigger player in Gay Tony. Which leads me to Gay Tony himself... he's a pretty pathetic character actually. Never does anything right, hangs out with douchebags and fills himself full of drugs.

Which leads me again to something else - the nightclubs. The story was meant to be based around the club scene in Liberty City... instead you only get to visit 3, and one of those is only open for one mission. Luckily you can replay missions after you have finished the main story, but it would be better to go in there without having a set objective. The clubs themselves are impressive - I really must take my proverbial hat off to Rockstar for creating such an impressive atmosphere. The pounding bass of the music, the lights flashing, people bumping into you... they really outdid themselves. I just with Bahama Mamas was open for more than one mission, because it is probably the most impressive of the 3. Hercules, the gay club, is rather small and boring. Maisonette 9, the main club, closely follows Bahama Mamas, in that it is much more like a real club. You can even enter the restrooms and listen to other patrons getting it on in the stalls. The music is great, as long as you are into club music - that is Dance, House, Electronica and the like. It's pretty memorable, though the additions to Vladiovstok FM don't feel like they belong there. I was playing Episodes from Liberty City ('borrowed' from my brother), so I didn't get the regular GTA IV soundtrack too, but up-beat dance hardly fits in with Eastern European music. I was glad to see Vice City FM added in there though, with our good friend Fernando Martinez as the DJ.

Finally, the new weapons and vehicles rock. I found myself constantly using the new SMG, shotgun (with exploding shells) and assault rifle, without bothering with any of the older weapons. The exploding shells shotgun is particularly fun. There's nothing like shooting a car and putting a dent the size of a fat dude in the driver's side door. The Buzzard attack chopper is fun as anything, though I do have one complaint. The missiles have no heat seeking on them, which is a real pain when you are tasked with taking out other choppers. Not to mention the minigun doesn't move - you have to move the whole chopper to aim. This is especially annoying in the first mission you use it in, where you have to blow up the boat you stole it from. So many times I almost plunged into the water. And finally, the N.O.O.S.E. APC. Especially fun. Just cruise around and blow anything away. But don't expect it to be smooth sailing... cause enough carnage and the frame rate will start to lag like a bitch. This isn't really a problem if you are driving the whole time, but if you decide to stop and take people out, or get forced into a corner, it's going to bother you.

TL;DR? Get it now!

In other news, uh... I don't really have much other news. Though I do have some upcoming blogs - I'll be doing more mini reviews, probably 2 at the same time for Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 and Prototype which I'll be getting for Christmas, maybe a blog on what I did with Jessica when she visits here (though that'll probably be boring, I don't think we will do too many interesting things) and possibly something about what I got for Christmas (I am expecting mostly money)

That's all for now... next blog will be before the 29th. See you then!

Oh, and I also added a new poll. Vote on it.

A long overdue birthday blog

So it's been over a week, but last Thursday was my 20th birthday. I put this blog off because I wanted to include something that I have recently received - my new laptop. It's a Toshiba one, here are the specs for you:

16" Display
2.2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
Windows 7

It's pretty good, I love using it. Took a little getting used to because I have hardly used laptops before, but I'm pretty used to it now. Only thing that bothers me is the touchpad, I need to buy a wireless mouse for when I want to play games on it, and I will want to play games because it's much better than my PC right now. First on my list - Crysis! I've been waiting so long to play it, and not because of the graphics.

I also got a few other things for my birthday, mostly money and a bunch of presents from Jessica! Which brings me to my next thing. It's almost a month until Christmas! I am not looking forward to it as much as I usually am... I am however looking forward to what is happening after Christmas. See, from the 29th of December I will have a visitor staying at my house for a few weeks. That's right, Jessica will be visiting me! Very exciting! Though the visit was being planned months ago, it is only just starting to get me excited. Hopefully we don't get too bored, there isn't much to do around here...

Well, that's all for now! Catch you later!

A rant about rants

Yes, rather ironic, isn't it?

One of the major problems I have with blogging and vlogging is rants. They are absolutely stupid, yet people feel compelled to do them over and over, and on the stupidest things too (more irony). They feel that for some reason you would rather read/listen to them go on and on about how crap something is, rather than read/listen to a constructive and informative argument. Guess what guys - your not cool. In a way, rants are insulting to the reader/viewer. They don't think you could understand the constructive and informative argument, so they put it in simple terms they think you will be able to understand, and usually they use lots of swearing to try to back up the fact that they are angry. We get it. You don't need to say "NO FUCKING WAY" or "THOSE STUPID FUCKING FUCKS" over and over. It's also insulting to the author. They can't be bothered to think of a constructive and informative argument, so they just swear alot.

Another thing that bothers me about rants is when they are planned. No. This is not a rant. It is a planned attack on something or somebody. You do not plan a rant. You do it spur of the moment, and you make lots of spelling errors due to your brain being so clouded with rage over "OMG this gamez r been delay3d 1 day! I r gon boycott EA Gaymes (or if you prefer: Sucktivision, Fagtendo, Phony, M$ (probably the lamest because they couldn't even be bothered to come up with a good pun), Ubicunt, I could go on and on, but I won't)"

Vlog rants are even funnier. Wow, a pasty 16 year old whose voice hasn't broken yet and whose face contains more oil than a McDonald's deep fryer, yelling about... something, you probably won't be able to tell what it is he's yelling about because of the incredible look of PURE RAGE on his face. Way to get your point across in a way that is definitely going to get you some serious recognition. Seriously guys, go back to fapping over the women's underwear section of the Walmart catalogue.

In conclusion: Don't rant. It makes you look like even more a douche than you really are (even more irony)

Tweetage, Kitties, Vote dammit! + Crackdown stuff

So while bored this week, I made a few small changes to my blog (over there ->)

Firstly is my Twitter feed, kinda pointless but whatever, there it is. Next is a poll, first up is a colours poll, but I'll add a new poll every 2 weeks. Lastly is a random slideshow of kitties, because my blog needed some more cuteness.

Random stuff: Today I got my brother a birthday present, Crackdown for 360. Finally I can do some co-op! I have a feeling it will be mad, cars thrown everywhere, jumping off buildings, you know, the usual chaos. Man I can't wait for Crackdown 2... I was a little concerned when I found out it wasn't being developed by Realtime Worlds (Developers of the original Crackdown) but looking at videos for the second one, it looks quite a bit better, and that's saying something because the original was almost perfect for me. I had a few complaints with the first though, and almost all of them seem to have been fixed. Firstly was the lack of variety in the missions, which was probably my biggest complaint. From the videos I've seen, it's no longer just "Kill the bosses", but the missions still look a little basic (eg: turn some valves to open something), which is okay actually, because I don't think complicated missions would suit the Crackdown series. Next biggest was the melee system. Basically there was only 2 options - kick and hit with gun. Now they've introduced combos and melee weapons, which look particularly deadly. Next up, the weapons. You're a super soldier who can lift cars and jump buildings. Most of the weapons in the original were pretty pointless, because with level 4 strength, you'd just be throwing cars and kicking enemies, and maybe firing off a few rockets. The new weapons look brutal, and look like they'll actually get used, if not for their effectiveness then just for the fact that they have cool effects.

Now, the videos:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

That's all for now... I've been slightly busy so sorry for lack of blogs. You can expect another one around the 12th!

Ideas for PSP2

This is another random blog, something I was randomly thinking about and wanted to share.
  • Hard drive - With the introduction of the PSP Go, I think it's safe to say that the next PSP will also have one. Now I don't think that they should remove the UMD drive for the next one, but a PSP with both a UMD drive and internal hard drive would be the best. That way you can have both UMD games, and digital ones. Sure you can have both now, but Memory Sticks big enough to hold a couple of games are expensive! I bought a new 2GB one this year, and already it's full, mostly because of FF VII (which I have yet to finish... oops)
  • NO touch screen - No! Bad Sony! Just because the DS has one, does NOT mean that you have to have one too! Sure, it would work, but I Have my DS for touch screen gaming. No other gimmicks either please, like an accelerometer. Just no.
  • Trophy Support - This is a big one for me, because I just love achievements, and I'm sure I'd love trophies too if I had a PS3. They make you play the game in different ways - I know I would have never beaten Halo 3 on Legendary if there wasn't an achievement in it for me. 
  • Improved battery life - Please! My launch PSP runs for about 4 hours before conking out.
  • Themes in the home menu - It's nice that they let us change the background, but it'd be nicer to have more customisation (colour schemes, etc).
  • Smoother graphics - Right now, there are too many jaggies in almost all PSP games. The level of detail is great, but it isn't being used fully.
  • Don't make it a phone (thanks to Elektrixxx for reminding me about this) - No. Just no. No PSP phone, or I'm not touching it with a 50ft pole. That's like... the worst idea in the history of ideas. Not to mention it's obvious that they are trying to cash in on the success of the iPhone.
 Any more ideas? Those are all I could come up with for now. Look out for more blogs later!

People you are allowed to hate (without ever meeting them in person)

Hey guys,

So this is an idea I came up with today. People you are allowed to hate (without ever meeting them in person) Just a random list, hopefully it'll deliver some minor lols:
  1. Kyle Sandilands
  2. People that say 'lol' out loud
  3. Peter Everett (Ready Steady Cook host, also massive idiot)
  4. Casual gamers
  5. Whoever came up with the word 'rawsome'.
That's all I could think of. Can you come up with some better ones? Let me know in the comments!!!

A random blog

So I know I said I was going to do another one days ago, but I had no idea what to write about. And I still have no idea. So I'm gonna do a random blog! Whatever the hell comes to mind.

So... Oh! I'm watching Seinfeld. Funny stuff. I love Go!. It's a surprisingly good channel, considering it's run by Channel 9, which is basically the king of crap TV right now. The only 2 things I can think of that annoy me are Big Bang Theory and TMZ. I just find BBT incredibly unfunny (I know some of you probably like it, but hey, we have different ideas on what's funny) and TMZ is just plain crap. The rest is good! 90's sitcoms (Just Shoot Me, The Nanny, Seinfeld) old cartoons (Flintstones, Jetsons, original Scooby Doo) and more youth-oriented shows like Gossip Girl and The Vampire Diaries. I still don't know why I like that... and I still don't know why I like Twilight. I know it's bad, but I still like it!!!

Something else that annoys me about Go! is that this episode of Seinfeld is a repeat. I mean, of course it's a repeat, but they played it earlier today. And I watched it then too. There's a disadvantage to staying at home doing nothing all day... besides the lack of money of course.

I added some links to the blog the other day. Most of them are webcomics that I read religiously. In order of preference:
  1. Questionable Content
  2. Ménage à 3
  3. Ctrl+Alt+Del
  4. Anders Loves Maria
ALM would be higher but it doesn't really have many strips, and Rene, the author and artist, doesn't update as frequently as I would like due to personal reasons. Ma3 I only started reading a few days ago, but I already love it.

Also on that list is Farmville for Facebook. It's so damn addicting. It's crazy really. I've been seriously considering spending a bunch of REAL money to buy in-game currency for it. If I had any real money... The little money I do have is going towards Jessica. Yes, she ranks higher than games and manga! What is this madness?!?

That's all I can think of. Also I'm hungry. Oh! One more thing: doesn't this look brilliant? I'm really considering buying this as a physical print when I get some money.

A New Start

Hey guys,

So, I'm starting a new blog. After everything that happened on Gamespot I just felt like I had to leave. It's a little sad given that it was such a big part of my life for so long, but to hell with it. I have other priorities now, the main one being my lovely Jessica. But enough about that! Umm... I can't think of anything else to talk about at the moment.

Oh, for those who want to keep in contact now that GS has been left behind, there is my Twitter (which you will probably already have if you are reading this), my Facebook and lastly, my MSN.

Look for more blogs soon, probably tomorrow! Later!